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Audit, rezoning cases on agenda for Cumberland County commissioners

Board also will consider federal funding for housing projects


The Cumberland County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday will consider an array of issues, including an external audit, several contested rezoning cases, and how to spend federal money.

The board will meet at 6:45 p.m. in Room 118 of the Cumberland County Courthouse.

The fiscal 2022 audit results will be presented by April Adams, an accountant with Cherry Bekaert LLP. General-fund financial results for the year were discussed at the board’s Jan. 10 agenda meeting.

According to Vicki Evans, county finance director, completion of the audit has been delayed several times, as previously reported to the board. The initial goal was to submit the audit to the state’s Local Government Commission by Jan. 13.

Because the audit had not been completed before Tuesday’s agenda was released, the detailed information in it will not be provided until the meeting. A printed, comprehensive financial report was not available before the meeting, but Evans said an electronic version will be posted on the county’s website before the start of Tuesday’s meeting.

The board also has scheduled a hearing on how to spend federal funding designated to help the homeless. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, through its Home Investment Partnerships (HOME) Program, has provided a grant of more than $1.4 million to the county as part of the American Rescue Plan.

Before that money is spent, the county must outline where it will go and how it will help the homeless. County officials consulted with housing and service providers to identify gaps in housing services and how the funding would address those gaps, according to Dee Taylor, the county’s community development director.

Taylor’s department drafted a plan and made it available to the public for comment between Jan. 13 and Jan. 27. A public hearing must be held during the comment period. The final version of the plan will be submitted to the Board of Commissioners on Feb. 6 for a decision on submitting it to HUD.

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The board will consider agreements on two projects related to affordable housing, including an allocation of HOME funding to Kingdom Community Development Corp. to build housing for low- to moderate-income households.

On May 17, 2021, the board approved as much as $500,000 for the nonprofit housing counseling agency. As amended, the term of the agreement would be extended from Jan. 23 to June 30 and the number of housing units would increase from four to five because the agency was able to secure additional funding.

The additional funds are not county funds and will not be managed through the county.

The Community Development staff has recommended that the amendments be approved.

An agreement with Hillside-FMHA LLC for the rehabilitation of Hillside Manor Apartments also will be discussed. The Community Development Department has recommended approval of about $440,000 to Hillside for repairs and renovation to the 32-unit complex at 1920 Rosehill Road in Fayetteville. The money would come from Community Development Block Grant funding, according to Taylor.

The commissioners’ agenda also includes discussion of three rezoning cases.

The first involves more than 106 acres east of Hummingbird Place and west of Maxwell Road. It would be rezoned from agricultural to rural residential. The applicant is George Rose, who is making the request on behalf of Astrakel International LTD, the property owner.

The Cumberland County Planning Board recommended denial of the rezoning request on Nov. 15, although the planning and inspections staff recommended approval as consistent with the Eastover Area Land Use Plan.

The commissioners will hold a public hearing on a rezoning request for about 4 acres at 2140 Rich Walker Road and an abutting parcel from agricultural to a residential classification. The request comes from Bertha Elliott, the owner.

The Planning Board recommended approval of Elliott’s request on Dec. 20.

A third public hearing involves rezoning 2 acres at 7632 Sim Canady Road from conservancy to agricultural. Owners Bradley Allee and Lynne Gralewski made the request.

The Planning Board recommended approval on Dec. 20.

Also Tuesday, the commissioners are expected to approve the consent agenda, which includes issues discussed at its Jan. 10 meeting. Included are a budget ordinance amendment and a proposed fund balance policy revision.

The board also is expected to go into closed session to discuss the purchase of property.

Cumberland County, rezoning, audit, Astrakel International LTD